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YOUR BALANCE
I feel as though I owe each of you an explanation....
Tiger Boards - Clemson Football
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I feel as though I owe each of you an explanation....

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175

Apr 22, 2024, 12:59 PM
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Wish I could have made it shorter, but I just couldn't. Grammar police, I confess guilt.

Back around August through October last year, I started noticing some weakness in my arms while doing odd jobs around the house. I just thought it was old age continuing to creep on me, so I increased my upper body exercises, and became more active.

On October 27th, I awoke with my left arm and hand asleep (or so I thought). As the day progressed, I couldn’t get the arm or hand to work correctly. After a few days of trying to convince my wife, “It will work itself out”, I ended up at the Pardee Hospital ER. By then, I was in pain throughout my body, and my right arm and hand were beginning to “lock up” on me. The ER doctor informed me on the spot, I had all the signs of a compressed spinal cord. I was forwarded to a cervical specialist.

After weeks of trying to obtain an MRI, I finally receive one on December 21st. On Christmas Eve, I receive a call from my surgeon. He wants to operate, immediately. Three days later, I’m in surgery for a collapsed C3/4 vertebrae, which has pinched my spinal cord down to the size of string. By surgery date, I have no use of the left arm and hand, about 10-20% use of the right arm and hand, my legs barely work, my body hurts, including burning and stinging skin.

The first day I remember following surgery was 5 days later. My wife temporarily left me alone, and I decide to go to the bathroom. I made it a few steps before my legs collapse under me. I fall against a wall and into the floor. I lose all motor control. My arms and legs started violently shaking. I’ve voided myself, and I’m lying there thinking, “This is it for me. I’m not going to make it.” I’m trying to call for out for my wife, but my voice isn’t working either.

I’m now waiting to die, and everything has become quiet and peaceful. Suddenly, I hear a loud coach’s whistle blow. Then, I hear my Dad’s voice as clear as if he was standing beside me. “Get your ### up off the ground! You hear me? Get up now!” I briefly think I’m back on a high school football practice field.

Next, it’s my departed son’s voice, calm and reassuring. “Dad, it’s not your time yet. It’s important for you to stand up now. You can do this.”

At this point, I actually laugh and respond, “Ok, ok, give me a minute. I’m hurting real bad.”

As I reach for the wall and a nearby door knob, I notice I have regained enough motor control to pull myself to a standing position. I hear Dad’s whistle blow again, and Dad yells out, “Alright, let’s run it again! Next play!”

Holding onto the wall, and I yell out “Help! Somebody help me!” My wife comes running, unaware that I had just become aware, and shocked that I had attempted to move on my own. I literally had to later explain to her, I had no recall of anything prior to surgery, up until several minutes earlier. In turn, she had to explain everything going on with me.

I could still walk, but only with assistance, and only a few steps at a time. The legs had become worse since surgery. Other issues had also worsened, but this is what I want YOU to understand. Later that afternoon, my wife helped me sit down in front of my computer. She put my right hand on the mouse. “Can you work the mouse?” she asked. I remember responding, “Yes, I can press it with my index finger.” She comes right back, “Then you can surf the internet.”

I found my way to Tnet, and for weeks, I sat there reading your interactions in depth. Escapism at its best, I would start forgetting about my own pain. The few posts you see from me in January through mid-March, my wife typed for me. The old NASCAR video about Cale’s Daytona win, I had saved years ago, but my wife posted it. I dictated the message.

At this point, I have now gone through at least 25 episodes, where I unexpectedly lose motor control of my body. They are much easier to handle if you know what to expect. I've taken almost no pain meds, because they are ineffective against the nerve damage.

What began as a terrifying ordeal, has now morphed into a highly spiritual and life altering experience. My wife is a saint. I am convinced my Dad and Son are eternally together (revealed to me more than once). And you people, I know for a fact some of you were curious/concerned about my condition; but I couldn’t explain any of it, until I sorted it out myself. Still, you continued to show immense kindness and compassion based on my lone “nerve damage” comments.

Every single day, I sat here clicking the mouse and testing my fingers on the keyboard. As we moved through March, I started to notice I could type some with my right hand. As we moved into April, I started using the left hand some on the keyboard. I told my PT Staff what I was doing, and they encouraged me to keep working the keyboard. I started trying to post by myself, forcing my fingers to type, regardless how slow. Your comments and thumbs up kept me going.

Finally, within the past 2 weeks, I have made a breakthrough. I just typed this diatribe in its entirety. I can now walk, with assistance, for 30 minutes. The skin still burns and stings, but doc tells me its just the nerves waking back up, testing themselves, and relearning. The loss of motor control is now just an arm or leg in lieu of the entire body. Doc has made it clear. I have 8-9 months of recovery to go, but he says I’m working so hard at it, he expects close to a full recovery.

So listen up Crump and B-Miest, these men and women just did something you couldn’t get me to do for years, re-up my Tigernet membership. Thankfully for you guys, I’ll never post as frequently as I once did years ago, but I’ll be here every single day. So, if you want to shoot the bull with a true bull*******, drop me a line. If you need somebody to listen, drop me a line. I love life, and I love people’s life stories. I’m available.

And one final time, a sincere thanks for lifting me up and carrying me forward. The prayers, thoughts, and grace will never be forgotten. You are my people, regardless.

Go Tigers!!!

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That's quite a story. Wishing you the best!!!***

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Apr 22, 2024, 1:04 PM
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Re: I feel as though I owe each of you an explanation....

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Apr 22, 2024, 1:04 PM
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🙏

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I try to save a life a day, usually it is my own.


Re: I feel as though I owe each of you an explanation....

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Apr 22, 2024, 1:14 PM
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The best is yet to come.

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"Anybody that says Coach Brownell is the best coach to come through Clemson is going to start an argument." -JP Hall


Amen, my friend. Amen! I sense it with every fiber of my being***

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Apr 22, 2024, 1:18 PM
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Thanks for sharing your story

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Apr 22, 2024, 1:17 PM
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and prayers for continued recovery. Hope you keep posting, you and your family are an inspiration.

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my friend i have had that same operation in 2004

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Apr 22, 2024, 1:19 PM
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i had ruptured c3 c4 and a bone splinter pierced my spinal cord
and i was leaking spinal fluid they operated on me dec 23 talk about depression

its christmas they made me quit smoking but when i awoke the lord had guided my doctors hand

and my pain was gone my operation took 5 plus hours to complete in all he removed c3/4/5.

until you have had that pain its hard to imagine it.

thank the lord i am still going strong.


go tigers!

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Thank you for sharing

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Apr 22, 2024, 1:37 PM
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I had no idea pain like that even existed. It made my first two spinal surgeries seem like a vacation.

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My Ma-in-Law, who passed away January a year ago at almost 98 years of age,

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Apr 22, 2024, 6:33 PM
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had one of the same low back surgeries I did a few years back. Now, she had given birth to two children, and she said the back pain was FAR worse than childbirth. I'll have to take her word for that part of it.

:)

What I CAN comment directly on, is the comparison between back pain, back surgery, and having your chest sawed open for triple bypass HEART surgery. For me personally, the chest pain was on a whole nother level ABOVE the back pain, and that is saying something truly turribel. Trying to breathe, or worse, trying to COUGH, without moving a chest muscle at all, is a losing preposition, but one you will certainly endeavor to accomplish when you wake up.

:(

That's a double I hope not many of you ever have to experience.

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Thanks for the "diatribe" . . .

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Apr 22, 2024, 1:21 PM
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and especially for the effort it took to share it!!!

You are a blessed man, evidenced by the bride standing with you. Our lives are enriched by your sharing.

Keep plodding along . . . smiling in spite of everything . . . You will see the “other side” of this more and more every day!

We are here for you . . . Holler if you need us.

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Re: I feel as though I owe each of you an explanation....

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Apr 22, 2024, 1:29 PM
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Great post and thank you for your contributions to this site!! You and your recovery will remain in our thoughts and prayers going forward…MK

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Re: I feel as though I owe each of you an explanation....

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Apr 22, 2024, 1:32 PM
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Wow I actually teared up reading that. God bless you my Tiger friend. What a great testimony of your faith, courage, and strength. Also, a great example of what a great marriage is supposed to look like. "For better or worse" lived out in true fashion. I have added you to my prayer list. Thank you for sharing your story.

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God bless you buddy.

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Apr 22, 2024, 1:35 PM
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Isaiah 41:13
For I am the Lord your God
who takes hold of your right hand
and says to you, Do not fear;
I will help you.

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Re: God bless you buddy.

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Apr 23, 2024, 3:38 PM
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One of my absolute favorite verses. Can't you just imagine holding out your hand to Christ and he grabs hold!!

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Re: I feel as though I owe each of you an explanation....

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Apr 22, 2024, 1:59 PM
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Prayers for you, your continued and full recovery!

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Thanks for the update. Praying for a complete recovery.***

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Apr 22, 2024, 2:03 PM
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Re: I feel as though I owe each of you an explanation....

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Apr 22, 2024, 2:17 PM
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Thoughts and prayers 🙏

GO TIGERS!!!

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Wow! Keep on keeping on, Ben!***

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Apr 22, 2024, 2:23 PM
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We're friends. You laugh, I laugh. You cry, I cry. You jump off a bridge, I get in my boat and save your retarded a$$.


Re: Wow! Keep on keeping on, Ben!***

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Apr 22, 2024, 2:25 PM
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Wow, look who's here! How you doing, young man?

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Re: Wow! Keep on keeping on, Ben!***


Apr 25, 2024, 2:21 PM
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I'm good. I like to pop in here every once in a while. I hope you continue on your current healing path in record time. Prayers!!

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We're friends. You laugh, I laugh. You cry, I cry. You jump off a bridge, I get in my boat and save your retarded a$$.


Prayers for your continuing recovery!***

16

Apr 22, 2024, 2:25 PM
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"When I was young, I was sure of many things; now there are only two things of which I am sure: one is, that I am a miserable sinner; and the other, that Christ is an all-sufficient Saviour. He is well-taught who learns these two lessons." -John Newton


Re: I feel as though I owe each of you an explanation....

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Apr 22, 2024, 2:43 PM
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Dang, that is one tough row to hoe, but you can do it. Go Tiger - you got this.

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Class of '87


Great job

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Apr 22, 2024, 2:57 PM
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I think it was Amari Rogers who told how he did his rehab "Doing everything they told me and then a little more." Sounds like that is what you are doing. I have tried doing the same thing with my rehab and am now walking with just braces.

Having a supportive wife is an especially wonderful help.

I'll race you to see which of us gets all the way back first.

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Re: I feel as though I owe each of you an explanation....

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Apr 22, 2024, 2:58 PM
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Praying for your continuing healing, BengalBen. Your story is inspirational.

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Re: I feel as though I owe each of you an explanation....

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Apr 22, 2024, 3:23 PM
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Way to hang in there throughout all the adversity. We're looking forward to your full recovery.

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Sometimes the road to the truth is so elusive it's confusing and reality becomes illusion.


Re: May God continue to bless and heal you!!

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Apr 22, 2024, 3:32 PM
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Go Tigers!!

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When the crisis arises the time for preparedness has passed.


Well. There's the best thing any of us will read today. :)***

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Apr 22, 2024, 3:39 PM
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null


Re: I feel as though I owe each of you an explanation....

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Apr 22, 2024, 3:39 PM
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Thanks Ben,

Praying for you, and admiring your inner strength, and support team, both physical and spritual. Keep on!

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The 3 W's are working for you!

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Apr 22, 2024, 4:22 PM
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You Want to push...

Your Will to succeed and

Your Wife stands at your side!

Wonderful, wonderful, wonderful!!

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Amazing story of perseverance and faith.

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Apr 22, 2024, 5:38 PM
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And to anyone who wants to try and deny your contact with the beyond, I too have had my departed Dad speak to me on one occasion. Also a couple of more spiritual encounters. You WILL see your loved ones again, if you repent of your sins and believe in Jesus Christ. You have just been given a preview, good for you!

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Re: Amazing story of perseverance and faith.

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Apr 22, 2024, 5:57 PM
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There IS an obvious difference in a thought coming from your brain, and a clear voice coming into it. I've lived long enough to know the difference.

Or as they say in these parts, this ain't my first rodeo.

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Re: Amazing story of perseverance and faith.

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Apr 22, 2024, 6:11 PM
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I recounted this once before on here. During the runup to one of my many surgeries that required going under anesthesia, I actually, for some reason, paid more than usual attention to the blurb they always say about there being a 1% or less chance you never wake up from it.

Now, this was the Anesthesiologist talking to me BEFORE going under, so I was still wide awake. I remember thinking, "Wow, there IS a chance I never wake up from this." And right after that, I heard a voice coming INTO my head, not out of my head, just as you describe. That voice, which gave me the most intense feeling of sudden peace and love I have ever experienced, said "Even if that happens, you will be just fine." I know it was Jesus who spoke those words directly to me. It had to be what I have heard called "a waking vision".

Since that day, I have had many bad days, health wise. Not nearly the travails you recounted, but bad enough to be beyond the pale. But, I have never, since that day, worried about dying. I might worry about the WAY I die, but not what happens afterward. That's a good feeling to have, right there.

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Re: I feel as though I owe each of you an explanation....

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Apr 22, 2024, 5:52 PM
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Crank it up BengalBen®!

I will continue the prayers!

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Re: I feel as though I owe each of you an explanation....

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Apr 22, 2024, 5:59 PM
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Many post as to, and hope for long life.

Being closer to the grave than the cradle am sure the best option is not long life but better life in the years one has.
Life in pain and misery might be better than no life, but avoid the choice as long as you can.

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the tug abides


Beautiful letter, BB!

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Apr 22, 2024, 6:18 PM
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As longtime caregiver for my wife, post-stroke, I am well aware what each of your recovery milestones means to your future plans. Congratulations on the hard work that has resulted in remarkable and continuing recovery.
I had a near-death experience myself about 10 years ago and, as a result of that, I am now very much at peace with life and loss and eternity. I should mention that I enjoy theological conversation and debate, but am much more spiritual than religious. But I my long-dead mother spoke to me and I sensed the presence of deceased family members. I am absolutely convinced there is consciousness beyond our earthly existence and it is present in a very comforting sense.

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GoTiguhs!!


I had 2 ruptured discs in C3/4 and C4/5. Was complete agony. Most don't under

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Apr 22, 2024, 6:34 PM
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stand the difference between muscle pain and nerve pain. When you said the part about medicine I understood completely. If there was a pill I could've taken to make that pain go away I would've taken it and then some. It was the first time in my life I could understand how people can become drug addicts.
My experience was no where near as bad as yours though.
After surgery, except for the stitches in my neck, I woke up pain free! It was an absolute miracle. I didn't have it as bad as you before the surgery either, I only had neuropathy in my left arm. All of that feeling was lost came back except one finger. I still have feeling in that one finger but it has kind of a numb feeling at the very tip.
To encourage your recovery, in the months I was dealing with that, I had carried my left arm around with my right arm. It was shocking how it reduced in size compared to my right arm, almost in half!
But it came back just as strong as the right arm.
Hang in there! I will pray for you, and your wife!

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"The one who thinks we can and the one who thinks we can't are both right! Which one are you, son? Which one are you, son?"


Yep. You can overcome muscle pain with meds. There is no defense against a

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Apr 22, 2024, 6:38 PM
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blown out disc impinging on nerves. Mine was L-4 / L5. I am just now joining the C-level club, as stenosis is starting to cause tingling and numbness up high as well.

Getting old is not for the faint of heart.

:)

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Re: I feel as though I owe each of you an explanation....

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Apr 22, 2024, 6:37 PM
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Great story, my friend. I will pray for you as you recover fully

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Re: I feel as though I owe each of you an explanation....

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Apr 22, 2024, 7:10 PM
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God is Good! Keep the faith and keep posting. You are in my prayers for a complete healing and restoration.

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Re: I feel as though I owe each of you an explanation....

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Apr 22, 2024, 7:13 PM
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Thanks for the share and prayers for a continuance of healing.

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MEG


Re: I feel as though I owe each of you an explanation....

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Apr 22, 2024, 7:21 PM
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Wow, you have been through it! Glad you are back & best wishes for as speedy a recovery as possible. Keep working, it will pay off. Interesting near death experience hearing your Father & your son. That is special

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Wow!

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Apr 22, 2024, 7:22 PM
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That sounds like quite the half year. Glad to hear things are improving and hoping to see a lot more posts in the future.

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Re: I feel as though I owe each of you an explanation....

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Apr 22, 2024, 7:42 PM
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That is so awesome I have goose bumps! Will continue to pray for a full recovery! Keep working!

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Wow, what a story!

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Apr 22, 2024, 7:48 PM
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I’m so sorry you’re going through this, but what an incredible journey of recovery you are on! I’ll be praying for continued progress.

Glad TNet brought you joy and a bit of an escape!

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"All those 'Fire Brownell' guys can kiss it." -Joseph Girard III

"Everybody needs to know that Coach Brownell is arguably the best coach to come through Clemson." -PJ Hall


Re: I feel as though I owe each of you an explanation....

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Apr 22, 2024, 9:59 PM
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BBen - Adding you to my prayer list.

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Re: I feel as though I owe each of you an explanation....

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Apr 22, 2024, 10:09 PM
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This post....I can't put into words how much I will be pulling and praying for you.

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Re: I feel as though I owe each of you an explanation....

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Apr 22, 2024, 10:19 PM
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My thoughts and prayers go out to you for a continued recovery. Keep going.

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Re: I feel as though I owe each of you an explanation....

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Apr 22, 2024, 10:21 PM
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Wishing you all the best.

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Re: I feel as though I owe each of you an explanation....

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Apr 22, 2024, 10:39 PM
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Aspire to inspire. Thank you for this. May your journey continue to the Mountain High.

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Re: I feel as though I owe each of you an explanation....

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Apr 22, 2024, 11:26 PM
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Wow you have been an ordeal. Get well soon and keep progressing!

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Re: I feel as though I owe each of you an explanation....

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Apr 22, 2024, 11:46 PM
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God bless you. So glad you are getting better. It sounds like you have a special wife too.

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Re: I feel as though I owe each of you an explanation....

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Apr 22, 2024, 11:58 PM
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Wow! Blessings to you!!! Thanks for taking the Time to share your very Inspirational Experience. Prayers to you and your Family!!!

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Re: I feel as though I owe each of you an explanation....

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Apr 23, 2024, 12:18 AM
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I'm sorry you have gone through such an ordeal but I am happy you are now recuperating. I have been down lately. Reading your story was uplifting for me. God bless you as you continue your recovery.

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"It is not part of a true culture to tame tigers any more than it is to make sheep ferocious."
--Henry David Thoreau


Re: I feel as though I owe each of you an explanation....

5

Apr 23, 2024, 12:43 AM
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You did good BengalBen! Who knew posting on Tnet was medically therapeutic?

Keep us updated on your recovery brother, we've got you in our prayers.

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Re: I feel as though I owe each of you an explanation....

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Apr 23, 2024, 7:03 AM
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Very glad you are able to work your way through this. There are some truly great people on this site. Keep it up and God bless!

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Thanks for sharing your story, you've been through quite an ordeal!

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Apr 23, 2024, 7:28 AM
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Prayers for your continued recovery! Keep the faith and God bless you and your family!

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God bless you, my Friend, as you continue to recover.

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Apr 23, 2024, 7:46 AM
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What an amazing and uplifting story of trial by fire! I have no doubts you will be back to normal quicker than your doctors think. Good for you!

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Re: I feel as though I owe each of you an explanation....

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Apr 23, 2024, 7:51 AM
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Very uplifting and inspirational conversation you’ve given us. You are not only healing yourself but healing a lot of souls here on T-Net. May God and your wife be with you and conversations with your brother and dad continue. You will be there, you don’t know what failure is, you just know one foot in front of the other…..again, again and again. God bless you!

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Re: I feel as though I owe each of you an explanation....

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Apr 23, 2024, 8:00 AM
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I wasn't on Tigernet much due to Air Conditioner problems yesterday. I saw this was the post of the Day and read it. When You talked about Your Son and Dad it reminded me of My Dad and brought tears to my eyes. It sounded like my Dad. I post very little on here but come here every day. From now on I will search for Your posts and follow Your Journey. I'm 78 years old and have my own issues but nothing like Yours, Just know You are and will be in My Prayers!

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Re: I feel as though I owe each of you an explanation....

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Apr 23, 2024, 8:07 AM
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For me this is what T-net is about. Thanks for sharing your story. Please keep us updated and I hope you have more than a full recovery.

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Keep at it and never give up. You'll be back to your old self by the first kick!***

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Apr 23, 2024, 8:33 AM
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Re: Keep at it and never give up. You'll be back to your old self by the first kick!***

4

Apr 23, 2024, 9:20 AM
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Praying for the day that you can "Drop and give us 20."

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This right here is why I come to tigernet!

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Apr 23, 2024, 9:32 AM
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Wishing you continued success in your recovery!

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You have all blown me away...

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Apr 23, 2024, 9:37 AM
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What a wonderful collection of inspirational and positive messages, intriguing conversation, and commonalities.

I cannot thank you enough. I'm printing this entire thread later today, and placing it on the wall next to where I do my re-hab. There it will stay, until I have fully recovered.

As requested, I'll give you all an update in a month or so.

We've got this!

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Re: I feel as though I owe each of you an explanation....

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Apr 23, 2024, 10:45 AM
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I think I know what you're talking about but I'm having a hard time getting the doctors to hear what I'm telling them.

After 4 back surgeries starting in 2006 through 2008 I have had a lot of nerve pain, and you're 100% right about the pain meds bc they don't work on nerve pain. I keep telling my doctors that I know the difference in nerve pain over just pain from injury or whatever, and over the past 3-4 years my condition has gotten much worse, and I can only walk for a cple of minutes before the nerve put me down wherever I might be, and those SOB doctors seem to be deaf to the sound of my voice and all my outdoor chores are stacking up and I can feel the depression coming on, but we have to do the best that we can do, and getting old don't make matters any better...

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Re: I feel as though I owe each of you an explanation....

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Apr 23, 2024, 11:52 AM
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That's no good. Press them hard for an MRI, because that was the key that unlocked the door to my specialist. Like I said, he saw the collapsed C3/4, called me direct, and 3 days later I'm in surgery.

Highly impressed with Dr. Eric Olsson. He's a cervical specialist out of Southeastern Sports Medicine and Orthopedics out of Asheville and Hendersonville.

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Thats a #### of a deal, and Im so grateful for you

4

Apr 23, 2024, 11:10 AM
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sharing your story.

I know firsthand the power and love of the they family having been carried by it before, and am forever appreciative of everyone here.

Did you try gabapentin/nuerontin for your nerve pain?? May be worth a shot for a while during your recovery.

Hang in there brother, your tnet family loves and is pulling for you 😊

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Re: Thats a #### of a deal, and Im so grateful for you

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Apr 23, 2024, 11:54 AM
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I tried them for 3 weeks, but they were ripping up my digestive system, so I had to quit.

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Wow, May God bless you...

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Apr 23, 2024, 11:15 AM
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...Im impressed by your strength.

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That is an amazing, uplifting story on many levels. I'm sorry you're having to

4

Apr 23, 2024, 11:35 AM
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go through that - but joyful that it allowed you to become even more trustful in God and his plans.

You are correct as well - your wife is a saint. Caregiving is not easy - and what a blessing to know you have someone like that by your side.

I'll be on the watch for further posts - and I'll add you to my prayers...

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Re: I feel as though I owe each of you an explanation....

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Apr 23, 2024, 1:18 PM
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May God continue to help you and heal you.

Sorry for your suffering and the awful pain and fear that's inevitable. Remember, you are defeated when you quit.

God bless your wife, she IS a Saint!

THANKS for sharing your trials. I bet hundreds if not thousands of folks will pray for your complete healing. I know I have and will. Nothing is too hard for God. <3

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Re: I feel as though I owe each of you an explanation....

3

Apr 23, 2024, 3:53 PM
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My sincere prayers for your full recovery and congratulations on your successes to date! You inspire others in their daily battles!! Go Tigers!!

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Re: I feel as though I owe each of you an explanation....

3

Apr 23, 2024, 4:21 PM
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C4/C5 Diskektomy for me in 2005.

Wow what a story and recovery for you. Keep the faith and strive to make improvements every day. Your story is inspirational to me.

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Re: I feel as though I owe each of you an explanation....

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Apr 23, 2024, 5:21 PM
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OUTSTANDING 👏👏 and TUs to your wife. Strong support is where it all starts.

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Re: I feel as though I owe each of you an explanation....


Apr 25, 2024, 7:33 PM
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Praying for you, your family and your medical team!🙏

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